Australian 1988 Pattern Waterbottle and Carrier

Following Sunday’s post on the Australian M1988 Minimi pouch, tonight we turn to the second piece of this load bearing equipment I have in my collection so far, the first pattern waterbottle and carrier:imageThe design of the waterbottle and carrier, officially known as a ‘canteen carrier’, closely mirrors that of the earlier 1956 pattern waterbottle and cover we considered here last year, but manufactured in ‘Auscam’ camouflage, which in turn was heavily inspired by the US Army M1910 waterbottle carrier! On the rear of the carrier is a wire hanger:imageAnd two metal ‘ALICE’ style clips to secure the carrier to a belt:imageAs with the minimi pouch we looked at previously, the waterbottle pouch has three metal grommets in the base to allow water to drain off:imageA piece of cotton webbing is sewn onto the front of the carrier to allow a field dressing to be attached:imageThis was deleted on second model carriers and replaced with a pocket for a hexamine cooker. The bottle is held in the pouch by two rounded flaps, secured with press studs:imageThe underside of the flap has details of the manufacturer, date ( November 1989) and store’s numbers:imageAlthough Australia has never been part of NATO it has adopted NATO standard stores numbers and was allocated the country code of ‘66’. The ‘canteen cover’ has a stores code of 8465-66-063-9664, the first four digits indicating the type of stores, followed by the country code and then the individual item code. The inside of the carrier is lined with green felt, this can be wetted and the slow evaporation of this water helps keep the water in the canteen cool:imageThe waterbottle carried inside the cover seems to be identical to the green plastic example used on the earlier webbing set:imageThis example is dated 1995:image


  1. Thank you for very interesting blog, I’ve been reading it, and learned a lot.
    If I understand correctly, all camo DPCU covers began to be used only in 1988 ( previously used M1956 only)?
    I saw and other such kind of DPCU cover, with a pocket for a folding stove at the front, maybe you know, what year it was decided to adopt this?

    Best regards, Michael

    • Hi Michael, I have had a look in ‘Saddle Up’ by Rick Landers, the ‘bible’ on Aussie load bearing equipment. According to him there are three different versions of the waterbottle cover. Mine, a second pattern with a small pocket for purifying tablets and a third one with a large pocket for a hexamine stove. He doesn’t give a date for the introduction of the different designs, but other changes to webbi were introduced between 1993 and 1995 in response to field usage so I would guess it was around then.

  2. Ed, many thanks for answer, this information is very helpful to me!

    Tell me please, can I use some of the photos of your covers
    on my blog (blog contains information about the army canteens around the world)?
    (blog is not a “commercial” or “advertising”, this is just my hobby in his spare time).
    Of course, there will be shown a link to this topic and your authorship.

    Best regards, Michael

  3. Stumbled across this site whilst looking at reviews online of the new issue PCS smock and it’s very interesting…well done for putting it together! I was in the British Army between 1987 and 1991 and I remember being issued with quite a few items that you review here… especially the boots combat high (I was issued both types you speak of) and the green Osprey mug! Issue kit back then was pretty terrible and you’d inevitably end up spending a large proportion of your meagre monthly pay of decent stuff from places like Silvermans in London, Du Bora in Aldershot or even from the good old NAAFI to try and keep warm on exercise in Germany or over in NI.

    The DPM Parkas you mention were never on general issue when I was in although we had a couple in the guardroom to be worn by the guards on stag when it got really cold during the German winters. Great bits of kit but no one ever washed them and when you changed over on the gate every 2 hours you’d put on the parka your mate had just taken off and that process would be repeated when you’d done your 2 hours.

    Try and find a good old KF shirt from the 1980’s somewhere if you can and review that….they were the worst things EVER. You had to wash them at least 10 times in fabric conditioner and then shave the inside of them before they became comfortable enough to wear!

    Regarding the Aussie water bottle and mug you’ve reviewed here… it’s definitely a good bit of kit but not as good as the standard British Army issue black 58 pattern ‘Osprey’ bottle and mug …which is still on issue today. Add a BCB metal cooking mug to it and it’s even better!

    Cheers … keep up the good work…regards… Dave.

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